Artı Gerçek editor in chief warned by German police that he was an assassination target
A prominent opposition journalist living in Germany was warned that he was a target for assassination by Turkish agents, Bianet English reported on Wednesday.
Celal Başlangıç, the editor-in-chief of Artı TV and Artı Gerçek website, told Artı TV that two German police officers paid him a visit at his home in Cologne to warn him that his life could be in danger. According to the authorities, Başlangıç's name appeared on an "assassination list" of Turkish dissidents living in Europe who oppose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The warning came only days after another journalist living in exile Erk Acarer was assaulted in his home in Germany and later received a threatening note in front of his home in Berlin. After Acarer was attacked, a Twitter user named "jitemkurt" published an assassination list of 21 journalists, artists and intellectuals living in Europe and threatened the related people to "Watch your back."
After his attack, Acarer accused Germany of being lax when it came to addressing threats from Turkish agents and proxies against dissidents and other exiles living in the country. Başlangıç however said that the German police mentioned to him the existence of another more extensive list of 55 Turkish dissidents that they appeared to be taking seriously in his view.
Turkey's covert operations against Erdogan's opponents is well documented and the danger presented by some of these activities have popped up in annual reports by Germany's domestic intelligence agency in the past. Just last year, a defector told Austrian authorities that he was contracted to assassinate Austrian Kurdish politician Berivan Aslan to "create chaos".